Burn! (Queimada)

GILLO PONTECORVO Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  Italy/France, 1969.  Produzioni Europee Associate, Les Productions Artistes Associés.  Story and Screenplay by Franco Solinas, Giorgio Arlorio, based on novels by Norman Gant.  Cinematography by Marcello Gatti, Giuseppe Ruzzolini.  Produced by Alberto Grimaldi.  Music by Ennio Morricone.  Production Design by Sergio Canevari.  Costume Design by Marilù Carteny.  Film Editing by Mario Morra.  Toronto International Film Festival 1977. …

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One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (L’une chante, l’autre pas) (1977)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  Venezuela/France/Belgium, 1977.  Ciné Tamaris, INLC,  Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, Paradise, Population,  Societe Francaise de Production.  Screenplay by Agnès Varda.  Cinematography by Charles Van Damme.  Music by François Wertheimer.  Production Design by Franckie Diago.  Costume Design by Franckie Diago.  Film Editing by Joele Van Effenterre.  Toronto International Film Festival 1977.    Teenager Pauline rejects her bourgeois family to help twenty-two year…

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Hollywood On Trial

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The period of the Hollywood Blacklist is one of the ugliest eras of American political history, and certainly not something that, in retrospect, recommends the film industry as a moral force. David Helpern’s succinct, absorbing documentary does a terrific job of encompassing the entire experience, beginning with the labour movements that grew…

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Alambrista!

BBB.5 (out of 5) Like millions before and after him, Roberto has decided to leave Mexico and look for work in America, his wife having just given birth and he needing to help make a better life for her. He enters the country illegally, barely surviving border patrol only to find himself in the same…

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Stroszek

BBBB (out of 5) Bruno S., star of Werner Herzog’s Every Man For Himself And God Against All, is once again a fish out of water in this marvelously dry comedy. He plays an ex-convict who befriends an abused prostitute and helps her escape her dangerous pimps. The two of them and an aged friend…

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Iphigenia (Ifigeneia)

BBBBB (out of 5) Director Michael Cacoyannis fleshes out Euripedes’ Greek tragedy with superb results. Following the slaying of her sacred deer, the goddess Artemis punishes King Agamemnon by refusing to allow the winds to blow that would take his ships to Troy and avenge Helen’s abandonment of his brother Menelaus. Sitting in port and…

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The Ascent (Voskhozhdeniye)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A group of partisan soldiers struggle to survive the Russian cold during the Second World War. Two members of the group separate from their comrades and go looking for supplies when they spot a farm in the snow-covered wilderness, but are then unable to return when they are spotted by Germans…

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The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari)

BBBB (out of 5) The principality of Oudh stands alone in 19th century India for having avoided British rule following the creation of a long-standing treaty that is now under threat. General Outram (Richard Attenborough) seeks to add to his exploits by putting the land under his control, and director Satyajit Ray laments on just…

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